Friday Flicks: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Happy New Year and welcome to my first Friday Flicks! Every Friday I pick a movie and provide a little insight about from a viewer’s perspective.

Our movie today is The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. There are two version of this movie, one in 2009 starring Noomi Rapace and one in 2011 starring Rooney Mara. We will be reviewing the latter.



  • IMDB – 7.8/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes – 86%
  • Me – 8.7/10


About the Movie

Based from Stieg Larsson’s International best seller novel of the same title, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was directed by David Fincher (Fight Club, Gone Girl, Se7en, The Social Network). This version features Rooney Mara (Carol, Lion, A Ghost Story) as Lisbeth Salander, a brilliant but disturbed private investigator; and Daniel Craig (James Bond movies) as Mikael Blomkvist, co-owner of Millenium Magazine.




The movie has 2 topics at hand which I would like to call the brain and the heart.

The Brain – Mikael Blomkvist just lost a libel case from a famous businessman (Hans-Erik Wennerström) receives a call from Henrik Vanger to investigate on the disappearance and possible murder of his grandniece, Harriet. In exchange of this task is a promising amount of pay and a promise to some information that will help Mikael prove the businessman’s crimes. Mikael requested for additional help and Mikael Blomfvist hired Lisbeth Salander to help him with the case.

They fitted perfectly as partners and was able to identify the suspect and unlock the mystery of Harriet’s situation. Henrik provided the agreed information but it was of no help. Lisbeth hacks into Hans’ emails and presented Mikael proof that will help him expose the business man.


The Heart – Lisbeth Salander is a troubled woman with amazing technical and analytical skills. She is under the state legal guardianship due to diagnosed mental incompetency. However, her current guardian had a stroke and she was transferred to a new one who abused her sexually. Given Lisbeth’s intelligence, she was able to capture the next sexual assault and gained control over her guardian.

Her partnership with Mikael made little changes to her and soon gained a romantic feeling towards the man.


Why You Should Watch It

Acting, cast, tone, score, and cinematography – these are the key points praised by critics around the world. Every character of this film is believable, you will empathize with every one of them. I have no idea who Rooney Mara was until I saw this movie and was surprised at how good she acts. You will feel Lisbeth’s focus and incredible strategic thinking.

David Fincher is no stranger in the film industry. What I really like about his films is how he sets the tone by using his personal style, behavior over action. If you watched films like Gone Girl and Se7en, you will realize the camera moves along with the character.


My Key Takeaways

  • How vulnerable our technology is. I felt a bit paranoid after watching the film as I realized how Lisbeth hacks into a prominent character’s email, gained access to his hotel, successfully disguised herself as someone else, and how humans are stupid sometimes. You can see codes (Linux mostly) flying around the screen as she sips her soda and smoked the time away.
  • Different people have different sides of the story. In order to solve the crime, both Lisbeth and Mikael coordinated with a lot of people directly or indirectly involved with the case. It was amusing to realize how they could not solve it if one of the minor characters in the event is missing. While some provided helpful proof to the case, some of them assisted by making points for the duo to think about.
  • The fault in human nature. My favorite quote of the movie is “The fear of offending is stronger than the fear of pain.” How many times have you been caught in an awkward situation because you said yes, fearing you might offend someone if you decline? This is exactly what this movie wants to stress. It could really put your life at stake if you are not careful enough. Sometimes standing up for yourself is needed.
  • Creativity is not only a matter of thinking outside the box, it also can be executing acts at your own risk. Lisbeth, so far, has been the most courageous fictional woman for me. Not only did she proved she can fight back from his abuser, she was able to use his wits and connections to solve two crimes in a short period of time.



  • Academy Award for Best Film Editing (2012)
  • Critics’ Choice Movie Award (2012)
  • Costume Designers Guild Award for Excellence in Costume Design for a Contemporary Film (2012)
  • ADG Excellence in Production Design Awards – Contemporary Film (2012)
  • Alliance of Women Film Journalists Awards – Best Film Music or Score (2012)
  • National Board of Review Awards – Breakthrough Performance (2011)
  • St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association Awardsfor Best Actress (2011)
  • Saturn Award for Best Horror or Thriller Film (2012)
  • Grammy Award for Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media (2013)


Tasty Trivias!

  • Rooney Mara’s piercings in the movie are real. After the shooting, they removed all but she decided to keep the right nipple piercing.
  • As you know, Noomi Rapace played Lisbeth in the Swedish version of the film but declined to reprise the role saying she couldn’t play the same role again in the same stories.
  • Daniel Craig purposely gained weight for his role to remind him and the audience that he is portraying a journalist and not James Bond.
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